I don’t know how I ever managed to homeschool before we had tablets and smartphones in our house. The ease of pulling up a web page to learn new information instead of packing up to head to the library makes life so much easier for this busy homeschool momma.
1. Current events.
I think it’s important for kids to be aware of what is going on in their world. So, every morning during breakfast, my middle schooler sits down to watch CNN 10 on her tablet. Each week she chooses one country to focus on. She is required to fill out a notebooking page about an event that occurred in or affects her country of choice.
Surely, I’m not the only one who struggles to say the names of people and places in the Bible. While my children do enjoy hearing me try to sound out the most difficult ones, it does detract from the message being read. So, we have started listening to our Bible lessons on our tablets while we follow along in our Bibles. This has been so great! I think it allows us to dig deeper into our studies because we aren’t getting lost in trying to say the difficult names.
As a middle schooler, her work is becoming increasingly difficult. She is required to dig a little deeper in her subject matter. Her tablet allows her to do just that without having to plan assignments around trips to the library. She has a whole host of knowledge at her fingertips. All she has to do is ask the right question and search for the answer.
While researching dinosaurs or the Civil War, she can Google the information she needs. If she doesn’t know how to pronounce a word she encounters in her literature book, she can listen to it being spoken in an online dictionary. She frequently accesses the online thesaurus, as well, while writing papers.
4. Supplemental activities
Videos and online educational games are available for so many different subject areas. We can listen to classical music during our composer studies. We watch documentaries and educational videos in order to supplement our science and history studies. Online vocabulary flashcards are great for reviewing her weekly vocabulary units in the car on the way to and from ballet.
In addition to the things that I assign her, she has downloaded quite a few educational apps of her own including Stack the States and BrainPOP Featured Movie.
5. eBooks and Audiobooks
I don’t know what I’d do without access to free ebooks and audiobooks. Our tablets are overflowing with both free and paid books, but I’d venture a guess to say that 95% of them are books we online lesson planner.
My Dropbox account is overflowing with free PDF books and texts that I downloaded off the internet. With sites like Project Gutenberg, the possibilities are endless!
As I sit down to plan which books to include in our science and history units, the first thing I do is search for a free downloadable version. I always do this before I search our library. If I can download a book to one of our tablets, I don’t have to worry about late fees if we don’t read the book as quickly as I had hoped.
We love audiobooks. We can listen to them in the car. We can take them with us to different rooms in our house. We can turn on a story and listen to it while we color and relax.
6. Lesson planner.
This is a biggie for me! I use an online lesson planner to manage our homeschool assignments. I type my lessons into my planner, and I print them out for our weekly binders. However, I keep the lesson planner open on my tablet so that I can mark assignments complete as we progress through our days. I also keep my grades there.
The neat thing about the online planner is that I can list online videos and websites she needs to access on a given day. That means, my kiddo can pull up the lesson planner on her tablet and click the link. This takes her right where she needs to go without having to boot up the desktop computer.
Using tablets in our homeschool is absolutely fantastic and only beneficial! I highly recommend.
Tara is wife to Matt and homeschool momma of three. Her children are 21, 16, and 12 – two boys and one girl. She is currently homeschooling her daughter – 7th grade. When she’s not blogging, Tara enjoys crocheting and snuggling up with a good book. She blogs about homeschooling, motherhood, and family life on both of her blogs – This Sweet Life and Embark on the Journey.